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Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology




The purpose of this study was to assess the dietary habits, prevalence of low energy availability (EA), and sleep quality in a cohort of male army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) cadets, and to investigate the relationship between EA and sleep quality as well as EA and various body composition variables that are important for tactical readiness. Thirteen male army ROTC cadets (22.2 ± 4.1 yrs; BMI: 26.1 ± 2.3) had their EA and body composition assessed using diet and exercise records alongside bioelectrical impedance analysis. Cadets also completed a validated sleep questionnaire. Sixty-two percent of participants presented with clinically low EA (/kg fat-free mass [FFM]) and none met the optimum EA threshold (≥45 kcal/kg FFM). Dietary analysis indicated that 15%, 23%, 46%, 23%, and 7% of cadets met the Military Dietary Reference Intakes (MDRI) for calories, carbohydrates, protein, fat, and fiber, respectively. Additionally, 85% of cadets exhibited poor sleep quality. Significant associations between EA and fat mass/percent body fat were shown (p < 0.05). There was, however, no statistically significant correlation between EA and sleep quality. The present study found a high prevalence of low EA and sleep disturbance among male army ROTC cadets and that many were unable to meet the MDRIs for energy and macronutrient intake. Further, low EA was associated with higher percent body fat and fat mass but not sleep quality. © 2023 by the authors.


© 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.